Different Types of Positions in the Mental Health Field

When to see a therapist

Depression is the most common reason men should seek professional help. Many life situations — jobs, relationships — can trigger its trademark symptoms, such as prolonged sadness, lack of energy, and a constant feeling of stress. For older men, it can also be brought on by financial anxiety about retirement, the death of a spouse or friend, or even the loss of independence, like losing the ability to drive. Left unchecked, these feelings could cause other health problems, such as rapid weight loss, insomnia, declining libido, and changes in memory. They may even lead to destructive behavior like alcohol or opioid dependence.

There are many kinds of professionals who offer many different types of therapy. Their individual approaches are based on their particular training and experience. The main ones include:

  • Psychiatrist. A doctor with a medical degree who can prescribe medication. He or she often helps with more severe issues, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
  • Psychologist. A professional who has a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology. He or she can treat a full range of emotional and psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, but in most states cannot prescribe medication.
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). He or she has a master’s degree plus 2,000 hours of supervised psychotherapy experience. This type of mental health professional focuses on the problems of everyday living, like stress and anxiety, relationship conflicts, and mild depression.
  • Clinician Nurse Specialist / Nurse Practitioner . Like psychiatrists, he or she can prescribe medication. This type of professional works either independently or in collaboration with a supervising physician.
  • Licensed Social Worker/Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. These mental health professionals assess and treat people living with mental illness and substance abuse issues. By providing group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention programs, and social rehabilitation, social workers help to ease clients back into their communities and daily lives. Clinical social workers provide care through numerous avenues, including hospitals, family service agencies and organizations like the U.S. Veteran’s Administration.